Deborah Guzzi is a healing facilitator, healing through touch and the written word. She has written three books. The Hurricane available now through Prolific Press, The Healing Heart, and Heaven & Hell in a Nutshell. Her poetry appears in Journals & Literary Reviews in Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Greece, India and dozens of others in the USA.
The Caves of the Thousand Buddha's
by Deborah Guzzi
The lobby of a Chinese hotel in Chongqing effervesces with activity, then empties like a shaken bottle of Tsingtao beer. Aclass “Feng shui for Westerners” gets off-the-ground with a bang as a gavel lands. I am here to learn the ancient art of healthy, profitable, placement of objects, within home and landscape. Here, in an industrial city, a continent away from home, paying by the hour for Chinese mysticism?
circles the mezzanine –
tour vans sun
At weeks end, having had enough of the superstitious hooey of Four Pillars fortune telling, myself and two tag-alongs escape to the countryside. Our government regulated tour flees the constraints of academia for Danzu, a World Heritage site, passing jade-green fields blighted with hovels.
with the drip of water –
An ancient forest of conifers stands as sentinels protecting the pathway to the caves. I amble down the root laden trail to the first opening. Wall after wall depict the glory of Buddhist heaven and the pain of its hells. The carvings dwarf us. Images of what the site must have looked like gilded and painted, swim before my eyes aided by the scent of sandalwood smoke from joss sticks. The Buddha's beg to be touched—chants ghost—moisture rolls from eye gouged faces. Womb-like, the caves birth and rebirth the penitent. Knowingly or unknowingly, all who enter here become part of the ritual of faith.
moves upward on sunlight –
a pinecone falls
Our guide, an atheist, gathers his ‘naïve’ group of cow-eyed westerners and hurries us back to the soot despoiled streets ofChongqing. The governing reign of communism slams shut with the door to the van. We sit stunned on the ride back pondering the dichotomy of freedom verses servitude, and belief, verses disbelief. An evening of Sichuan peppercorns, a hot pot delicacies of the area, noted for its mouth-numbing qualities awaits us.